Che-chiang conventional Chekiang

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Zhejiang ?

Zhejiang Definition

One of China's smallest and most densely populated provinces. Divided in the 1270s into eastern and western regions. foreign penetration began in the 1840s. Following the Chinese revolution (1911–12), it became a power base for the Nationalist Party of Chiang Kai-shek, who was born in Zhejiang. Zhejiang was occupied by Japan in World War II, (Wikipedia) - Zhejiang For the former Chekiang province of the People''s Republic of China, see Chekiang Province, People''s Republic of China.
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Zhejiang Province 浙江省 Name transcription(s)  • Chinese  • Abbreviation  • Wu Named for Capital (and largest city) Divisions Government  • Secretary  • Governor Area  • Total Area rank Population (2013)  • Total  • Rank  • Density  • Density rank Demographics  • Ethnic composition  • Languages and dialects ISO 3166 code GDP (2013)  - per capita HDI (2010) Website
浙江省 (Zhèjiāng Shěng)
浙 (pinyin: Zhè)
Tsehkaon San
Map showing the location of Zhejiang Province
Coordinates: 29°12′N 120°30′E / 29.2°N 120.5°E / 29.2; 120.5Coordinates: 29°12′N 120°30′E / 29.2°N 120.5°E / 29.2; 120.5
Old name of Qiantang River
11 prefectures, 90 counties, 1570 townships
Xia Baolong
Li Qiang
101,800 km2 (39,300 sq mi)
540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Han: 99.2% She: 0.4%
Wu, Huizhou, Jianghuai Mandarin, Min Nan (in Cangnan and Pingyang County)
CNY 3.7568 trillion US$ 606.601 billion (4th)
CNY 68,462 US$ 11,055 (5th)
0.744 (high) (5th)
Chinese Postal Map
Transcriptions Hakka Romanization Mandarin Hanyu Pinyin Wade–Giles Min Hokkien POJ Min-dong BUC Wu Romanization Cantonese Yale Romanization
This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.

 Zhejiang (help·info), formerly romanized as Chekiang, is an eastern coastal province of the People''s Republic of China. Zhejiang borders Jiangsu province and Shanghai municipality to the north, Anhui province to the northwest, Jiangxi province to the west, and Fujian province to the south; to the east is the East China Sea, beyond which lie the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.

  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 History
    • 2.1 Prehistory
    • 2.2 Ancient History
    • 2.3 Han and the Three Kingdoms
    • 2.4 Six Dynasties
    • 2.5 Sui and Tang
    • 2.6 Song
    • 2.7 Ming
    • 2.8 Qing
    • 2.9 Republican era
    • 2.10 People''s Republic
  • 3 Geography
  • 4 Administrative divisions
  • 5 Politics
  • 6 Economy
    • 6.1 Economic and Technological Development Zones
    • 6.2 Economic and technological development concerns
      • 6.2.1 Waste disposal
  • 7 Demographics
    • 7.1 Religion
  • 8 Media
  • 9 Culture
    • 9.1 Languages
    • 9.2 Music
    • 9.3 Cuisine
    • 9.4 Place names
  • 10 Tourism
  • 11 Sports
  • 12 Education
    • 12.1 Colleges and universities
    • 12.2 Schools
  • 13 References
  • 14 External links


The province''s name derives from the Zhe River (also 浙江, Zhè Jiāng), the former name of the Qiantang River which flows past Hangzhou and whose mouth forms Hangzhou Bay. It is usually glossed as meaning "Crooked" or "Bent River", from the meaning of Chinese 折, but is more likely a phono-semantic compound formed from adding 氵 (the "water" radical used for river names) to phonetic 折 (pinyin zhé but reconstructed Old Chinese *tet), preserving a proto-Wu name of the local Yue, similar to Yuhang, Kuaiji, and Jiang.

History Prehistory

Zhejiang was the site of the neolithic cultures of the Hemudu and Liangzhu. A 2007 analysis of the DNA recovered from human remains in the archeological sites of prehistoric peoples along the Yangtze River shows high frequencies of Haplogroup O1 in the Liangzhu culture, linking them to Austronesian and Tai-Kadai peoples.

Ancient History

The area of modern Zhejiang was outside the major sphere of influence of the Shang civilization during the 2nd-millennium BC. Instead, this area was populated by peoples collectively known as the Hundred Yue, including the Dongyue and the Ouyue. Lin Shunsheng has argued that the Yue were largely if not entirely speakers of Austronesian languages. the kingdom of Yue began to appear in the chronicles and records written during the Spring and Autumn Period. According to the chronicles, kingdom of Yue located in northern Zhejiang. Shiji claims that its leaders were descent from the Shang founder Yu the Great. Evidence suggests that Baiyue and kingdom of Yue possessed their own culture and history that are different from those kingdoms in north and central China, whose cultures and histories were carefully recorded in chronicles and histories during the Spring and Autumn Period and into the Qin dynasty. The Song of the Yue Boatman (Chinese: 越人歌, p Yuèrén Gē, lit. "Song of the man of Yue") was transliterated into Chinese and recorded by authors in north China or inland China of Hebei and Henan around 528 BC. The song shows that the Yue people spoke a language that was mutually unintelligible with the mandarin dialects spoken in north and inland China. The Yue peoples seem to have had their own written script. The Sword of Goujian bears Bird-worm seal script. Yuenü (Chinese: 越女; pinyin: Yuènǚ; Wade–Giles: Yüeh-nü; literally: "the Lady of Yue") was a swordswoman from the state of Yue. In order to check the growth of the kingdom of Wu, Chu pursued a policy of strengthening Yue. Under King Goujian, Yue recovered from its early reverses and fully annexed the lands of its rival in 473 BC. The Yue kings then moved their capital center from their original home around Mount Kuaiji in present-day Shaoxing to the former Wu capital at present-day Suzhou. With no southern power to turn against Yue, Chu opposed it directly and, in 333 BC, succeeded in destroying it. Yue''s former lands were annexed by the Qin Empire in 222 BC and organized into a commandery named for Kuaiji in Zhejiang but initially headquartered in Wu in Jiangsu.

Han and the Three Kingdoms

Kuaiji Commandery was the initial power base for Xiang Liang and Xiang Yu''s rebellion against the Qin Empire which initially succeeded in restoring the kingdom of Chu but eventually fell to the Han. Under the Later Han, control of the area returned to the settlement below Mount Kuaiji but authority over the Minyue hinterland was nominal at best and its Yue inhabitants largely retained their own political and social structures.

At the beginning of the Three Kingdoms era (220–280 CE), Zhejiang was home to the warlords Yan Baihu and Wang Lang prior to their defeat by Sun Ce and Sun Quan, who eventually established the Kingdom of Wu. Despite the removal of their court from Kuaiji to Jianye (present-day Nanjing), they continued development of the region and benefitted from influxes of refugees fleeing the turmoil in northern China. Industrial kilns were established and trade reached as far as Manchuria and Funan (south Vietnam).

Zhejiang was part of the Wu during the Three Kingdoms. Wu (229–280), commonly known as Eastern Wu or Sun Wu, had been the economically most developed state among the Three Kingdoms (220–280 CE). The historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms records that Zhejiang had the best-equipped, strong navy force. The story depicts how the states of Wei (魏) and Shu (蜀), lack of material resources, avoided direct confrontation with the Wu. In armed military conflicts with Wu, the two states relied intensively on tactics of camouflage and deception to steal Wu''s military resources including arrows and bows.

Six Dynasties

Despite the continuing prominence of Nanjing (then known as Jiankang), the settlement of Qiantang, the former name of Hangzhou, remained one of the three major metropolitan centers in the south to provide major tax revenue to the imperial centers in the north China. The other two centers in the south were Jiankang and Chengdu. In 589, Qiangtang was raised in status and renamed Hangzhou.

Following the fall of Wu and the turmoil of the Wu Hu uprising against the Jin, most of elite Chinese families had collaborated with the non-Chinese rulers and military conquerors in the north. Some might had lost social privilege, and took refugee in areas south to Yangtze River. Some of the Chinese refugees from north China might have resided in areas near Hangzhou. For example, the family clan of Zhuge Liang (181–234),a chancellor of the state of Shu Han from Central Plain in north China during the Three Kingdoms period, gathered together at the suburb of Hangzhou, forming an exclusive, closed village Zhuge Village (Zhege Cun), consisting of villagers all with family family Zhuge. The village has intentionally isolated itself from the surrounding communities for centuries to this day, and only recently came to be known in public. It suggests that a small number of powerful, elite Chinese refugees from the Central Plain might have taken refugee in south of the Yangtze River. However, considering the mountainous geography and relative lack of agrarian lands in Zhejiang, most of these refugees might have resided in some areas in south China beyond Zhejiang, where fertile agrarian lands and metropolitan resources were available, mainly north Jiangsu, west Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Anhui,and provinces where less cohesive, organized regional governments had been in place. Metropolitan areas of Sichuan was another hub for refugees, given that the state of Shu had long been founded and ruled by political and military elites from the Central Plain and north China. Some refugees from the north China might have found residence in south China depending on their social status and military power in the north. The rump Jin state or the Southern Dynasties vied against some elite Chinese from the Central Plain and south of the Yangtze River.

Sui and Tang

Zhejiang, as the heartland of the Jiangnan (Yangtze River Delta), remained the wealthiest area during the Six Dynasties (220 or 222–589), Sui, and Tang. After being incorporated into the Sui dynasty, its economic richness was used for the Sui dynasty''s ambitions to expand north and south, particularly into Korea and Vietnam. The plan led the Sui dynasty to restore and expand the network which became the Grand Canal of China. The Canal regularly transported grains and resources from Zhejiang, through its metropolitan center Hangzhou (and its hinterland along both the Zhe River and the shores of Hangzhou Bay), and from Suzhou, and thence to the North China Plain. The debacle of the Korean war led to Sui''s overthrow by the Tang, who then presided over a centuries-long golden age for the country. Zhejiang was an important economic center of the empire''s Jiangnan East Circuit and was considered particularly prosperous. Throughout the Tang dynasty, The Grand Canal had remained effective, transporting grains and material resources to North China plain and metropolitan centers of the empire. As the Tang Dynasty disintegrated, Zhejiang constituted most of the territory of the regional kingdom of Wuyue.


The Song dynasty reëstablished unity around 960. Under the Song, the prosperity of South China began to overtake that of North China. After the north was lost to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1127 following the Jingkang Incident, Hangzhou became the capital of the Southern Song under the name Lin''an. Renowned for its prosperity and beauty, it may have been the largest city in the world at the time. From then on, north Zhejiang and neighboring south Jiangsu have been synonymous with luxury and opulence in Chinese culture. The Mongol conquest and the establishment of the Yuan dynasty in 1279 ended Hangzhou''s political clout, but its economy continued to prosper. Marco Polo visited the city, which he called "Kinsay", claiming it was "the finest and noblest city in the world".

Greenware ceramics made from celadon had been made in the area since the 3rd-century Jin dynasty, but it returned to prominence—particularly in Longquan—during the Southern Song and Yuan. Longquan greenware is characterized by a thick unctuous glaze of a particular bluish-green tint over an otherwise undecorated light-grey porcellaneous body that is delicately potted. Yuan Longquan celadons feature a thinner, greener glaze on increasingly large vessels with decoration and shapes derived from Middle Eastern ceramic and metalwares. These were produced in large quantities for the Chinese export trade to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and (during the Ming) Europe. By the Ming, however, production was notably deficient in quality. It is in this period that the Longquan kilns declined, to be eventually replaced in popularity and ceramic production by the kilns of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi.

MingThis tripod planter from the Ming Dynasty was found in Zhejiang province. It is housed in the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

The Ming dynasty, which drove out the Mongols in 1368, established the province of Zhejiang and their borders have changed little since this founding.


Under the late Ming dynasty and the Qing dynasty that followed it, Zhejiang''s ports were important centers of international trade.

"In 1727 the to-min or ''idle people'' of Cheh Kiang province (a Ningpo name still existing), the yoh-hu or ''music people'' of Shanxi province, the si-min or ''small people'' of Kiang Su (Jiangsu) province, and the Tanka people or ''egg-people'' of Canton (to this day the boat population there), were all freed from their social disabilities, and allowed to count as free men." "Cheh Kiang" is another romanization for Zhejiang.

During the First Opium War, the British navy defeated Eight Banners forces at Ningbo and Dinghai. Under the terms of the Treaty of Nanking, signed in 1843, Ningbo became one of the five Chinese treaty ports opened to virtually unrestricted foreign trade. Much of Zhejiang came under the control of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom during the Taiping Rebellion, which resulted in a considerable loss of life in the province. In 1876, Wenzhou became Zhejiang''s second treaty port.

Republican era See also: Chekiang Province, Republic of China

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, which led into World War II, much of Zhejiang was occupied by Japan and placed under the control of the Japanese puppet state known as the Reorganized National Government of China. Following the Doolittle Raid, most of the B-25 American crews that came down in China eventually made it to safety with the help of Chinese civilians and soldiers. The Chinese people who helped them, however, paid dearly for sheltering the Americans. The Imperial Japanese Army began the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign to intimidate the Chinese out of helping downed American airmen. The Japanese killed an estimated 250,000 civilians while searching for Doolittle’s men.

People''s Republic

After the People''s Republic of China took control of Mainland China in 1949, the Republic of China government based in Taiwan continued to control the Dachen Islands off the coast of Zhejiang until 1955, even establishing a rival Zhejiang provincial government there, creating a situation similar to Fujian province today. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), Zhejiang was in chaos and disunity, and its economy was stagnant, especially during the high tide (1966–69) of the revolution. The agricultural policy favoring grain production at the expense of industrial and cash crops intensified economic hardships in the province. Mao’s self-reliance policy and the reduction in maritime trade cut off the lifelines of the port cities of Ningbo and Wenzhou. While Mao invested heavily in railroads in interior China, no major railroads were built in South Zhejiang, where transportation remained poor.

Zhejiang benefited less from central government investment than some other provinces due to its lack of natural resources, a location vulnerable to potential flooding from the sea, and an economic base at the national average. Zhejiang, however, has been an epicenter of capitalist development in China, and has led the nation in the development of a market economy and private enterprises. Northeast Zhejiang, as part of the Yangtze Delta, is flat, more developed, and industrial.

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View of the West Lake in Hangzhou.

Zhejiang consists mostly of hills, which account for about 70% of its total area. Altitudes tend to be the highest to the south and west and the highest peak of the province, Huangmaojian Peak (1,929 meters or 6,329 feet), is located there. Other prominent mountains include Mounts Yandang, Tianmu, Tiantai, and Mogan, which reach altitudes of 700 to 1,500 meters (2,300 to 4,900 ft).

Valleys and plains are found along the coastline and rivers. The north of the province lies just south of the Yangtze Delta, and consists of plains around the cities of Hangzhou, Jiaxing, and Huzhou, where the Grand Canal of China enters from the northern border to end at Hangzhou. Another relatively flat area is found along the Qu River around the cities of Quzhou and Jinhua. Major rivers include the Qiangtang and Ou Rivers. Most rivers carve out valleys in the highlands, with plenty of rapids and other features associated with such topography. Well-known lakes include the West Lake of Hangzhou and the South Lake of Jiaxing.

There are over three thousand islands along the rugged coastline of Zhejiang. The largest, Zhoushan Island, is Mainland China''s third largest island, after Hainan and Chongming. There are also many bays, of which Hangzhou Bay is the largest. Zhejiang has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Spring starts in March and is rainy with changeable weather. Summer, from June to September is long, hot, rainy, and humid. Fall is generally dry, warm and sunny. Winters are short but cold except in the far south. Average annual temperature is around 15 to 19 °C (59 to 66 °F), average January temperature is around 2 to 8 °C (36 to 46 °F) and average July temperature is around 27 to 30 °C (81 to 86 °F). Annual precipitation is about 1,000 to 1,900 mm (39 to 75 in). There is plenty of rainfall in early summer, and by late summer Zhejiang is directly threatened by typhoons forming in the Pacific.

Administrative divisions Main articles: List of administrative divisions of Zhejiang and List of township-level divisions of Zhejiang

Zhejiang is divided into eleven prefecture-level divisions: all prefecture-level cities (including two sub-provincial cities):

Map # Name Administrative Seat Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population (2010)
— Sub-provincial city —
1 Hangzhou Gongshu District 杭州市 Hángzhōu Shì 8,700,400
2 Ningbo Haishu District 宁波市 Níngbō Shì 7,605,700
— Prefecture-level city —
3 Huzhou Wuxing District 湖州市 Húzhōu Shì 2,893,500
4 Jiaxing Nanhu District 嘉兴市 Jiāxīng Shì 4,501,700
5 Jinhua Wucheng District 金华市 Jīnhuá Shì 5,361,600
6 Lishui Liandu District 丽水市 Líshuǐ Shì 2,117,000
7 Quzhou Kecheng District 衢州市 Qúzhōu Shì 2,122,700
8 Shaoxing Yuecheng District 绍兴市 Shàoxīng Shì 4,912,200
9 Taizhou Jiaojiang District 台州市 Tāizhōu Shì 5,968,800
10 Wenzhou Lucheng District 温州市 Wēnzhōu Shì 9,122,100
11 Zhoushan Dinghai District 舟山市 Zhōushān Shì 1,121,300

The eleven prefecture-level divisions of Zhejiang are subdivided into 90 county-level divisions (32 districts, 22 county-level cities, 35 counties, and one autonomous county). Those are in turn divided into 1570 township-level divisions (761 towns, 505 townships, 14 ethnic townships, and 290 subdistricts). Hengdian belongs to Jinhua, which is the largest base of shooting films and TV dramas in China. Hengdian is called "China''s Hollywood".

Politics Main articles: Politics of Zhejiang and List of provincial leaders of the People''s Republic of China

The politics of Zhejiang is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in Mainland China. The Governor of Zhejiang is the highest-ranking official in the People''s Government of Zhejiang. However, in the province''s dual party-government governing system, the Governor is subordinate to the Zhejiang Communist Party of China (CPC) Provincial Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Zhejiang CPC Party Chief".

Several political figures who served as Zhejiang''s top political office of Communist Party Secretary have played key roles in various events in PRC history. Tan Zhenlin (term 1949-1952), the inaugural Party Secretary, was one of the leading voices against Mao''s Cultural Revolution during the so-called February Countercurrent of 1967. Jiang Hua (term 1956-1968), was the "chief justice" on the Special Court in the case against the Gang of Four in 1980. Three provincial Party Secretaries since the 1990s have gone onto prominence at the national level. They include President Xi Jinping (term 2002-2007), National People''s Congress Chairman and former Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang (term 1998-2002), and Zhao Hongzhu (term 2007-2012), the Deputy Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China''s top anti-corruption body. Of Zhejiang''s fourteen Party Secretaries since 1949, none were native to the province.

Zhejiang was home to Chiang Kai-shek and many high-ranking officials in the Kuomintang, who fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Civil War.


The province is traditionally known as the "Land of Fish and Rice". True to its name, rice is the main crop, followed by wheat; north Zhejiang is also a center of aquaculture in China, and the Zhoushan fishery is the largest fishery in the country. The main cash crops include jute and cotton, and the province also leads the provinces of China in tea production. (The renowned Longjing tea is a product of Hangzhou.) Zhejiang''s towns have been known for handicraft production of goods such as silk, for which it is ranked second among the provinces. Its many market towns connect the cities with the countryside.

As of 1832, the province was exporting silk, paper, fans, pencils, wine, dates, tea and "golden-flowered" hams.

See also: Pearl farming in China

Ningbo, Wenzhou, Taizhou and Zhoushan are important commercial ports. The Hangzhou Bay Bridge between Haiyan County and Cixi, is the longest bridge over a continuous body of sea water in the world.

Zhejiang''s main manufacturing sectors are electromechanical industries, textiles, chemical industries, food, and construction materials. In recent years Zhejiang has followed its own development model, dubbed the "Zhejiang model", which is based on prioritizing and encouraging entrepreneurship, an emphasis on small businesses responsive to the whims of the market, large public investments into infrastructure, and the production of low-cost goods in bulk for both domestic consumption and export. As a result, Zhejiang has made itself one of the richest provinces, and the "Zhejiang spirit" has become something of a legend within China. However, some economists now worry that this model is not sustainable, in that it is inefficient and places unreasonable demands on raw materials and public utilities, and also a dead end, in that the myriad small businesses in Zhejiang producing cheap goods in bulk are unable to move to more sophisticated or technologically more advanced industries. The economic heart of Zhejiang is moving from North Zhejiang, centered on Hangzhou, southeastward to the region centered on Wenzhou and Taizhou. The per capita disposable income of urbanites in Zhejiang reached 24,611 yuan (US$3,603) in 2009, an annual real growth of 8.3%. The per capita pure income of rural residents stood at 10,007 yuan (US$1,465), a real growth of 8.1% year-on-year. Zhejiang''s nominal GDP for 2011 was 3.20 trillion yuan (US$506 billion) with a per capita GDP of 44,335 yuan (US$6,490). In 2009, Zhejiang''s primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 116.2 billion yuan (US$17 billion), 1.1843 trillion yuan (US$173.4 billion), and 982.7 billion yuan (US$143.9 billion) respectively.

Economic and Technological Development Zones
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  • Huzhou Economic Development Zone
  • Dinghai Industrial Park
  • Hangzhou Economic & Technological Developing Area
  • Hangzhou New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
  • Hangzhou Export Processing Zone
  • Hangzhou Zhijiang National Tourist Holiday Resort
  • Jiaxing Export Processing Zone
  • Ningbo Economic and Technical Development Zone
  • Ningbo Daxie Island Development Zone
  • Ningbo Free Trade Zone
  • Ningbo Export Processing Zone
  • Quzhou Industrial Park
  • Shenjia Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Wenzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Xiaoshan Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Zhejiang Quzhou Hi-Tech Park
  • Zhejiang Zhoushan Economic Development Zone
  • Zhejiang Donggang Economic Development Zone
Economic and technological development concerns Waste disposal

On Thursday, September 15, 2011, more than 500 people from Hongxiao Village protested over the large-scale death of fish in a nearby river. Angry protesters stormed the Zhejiang Jinko Solar Company factory compound, overturned eight company vehicles, and destroyed the offices before police came to disperse the crowd. Protests continued on the two following nights with reports of scuffles, officials said. Chen Hongming, a deputy head of Haining''s environmental protection bureau, said the factory''s waste disposal had failed pollution tests since April. The environmental watchdog had warned the factory, but it had not effectively controlled the pollution, Chen added.

DemographicsShe ethnic county, townships and towns in Zhejiang

Han Chinese make up the vast majority of the population, and the largest Han subgroup are the speakers of Wu varieties of Chinese. There are also 400,000 members of ethnic minorities, including approximately 200,000 She people and approximately 20,000 Hui Chinese. Jingning She Autonomous County in Lishui is the only She autonomous county in China.


Zhejiang is home to an important Christian population. In 2014, Feng Zhili, chairman of the Ethic and Religious Affairs Committee of Zhejiang stated that the growth of Christianity in the province had been “too excessive and too haphazard.”


The Zhejiang Radio & Television, Hangzhou Radio & Television Group, Ningbo Radio & Television Group are the local broadcasters in Zhejiang Province. Programs are produced by Guinness of China Television, and entertainment is produced by Wenzhou Television.

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See also: Major national historical and cultural sites (Zhejiang)A boat on one of Shaoxing''s waterways, near the city center. North Zhejiang, known as the "Land of Fish and Rice", is characterized by its canals and waterways.Languages

Zhejiang is mountainous and has therefore fostered the development of many distinct local cultures. Linguistically speaking, Zhejiang is extremely diverse. Most inhabitants of Zhejiang speak Wu, one of the Chinese languages, but the Wu dialects are very diverse, especially in the south, where one valley may speak a dialect completely unintelligible to the next valley a few kilometers away. Non-Wu dialects are spoken as well, mostly along the borders; Mandarin and Huizhou dialects are spoken on the border with Anhui, while Min dialects are spoken on the border with Fujian. (See Hangzhou dialect, Shaoxing dialect, Ningbo dialect, Wenzhou dialect, Taizhou dialect, Jinhua dialect, and Quzhou dialect for more information).

Throughout history there have been a series of lingua francas in the area to allow for better communication. The dialects spoken in Hangzhou, Shaoxing, and Ningbo have taken on this role historically. Since the founding of the People''s Republic of China in 1949, Mandarin, which is not mutually intelligible with any of the local dialects, has been promoted as the standard language of communication throughout China. As a result, most of the population now can, to some degree, speak and comprehend Mandarin and can code-switch when necessary. A majority of the population educated since 1978 can speak Mandarin. Urban residents tend to be more fluent in Mandarin than rural people. Nevertheless, a Zhejiang accent is detectable in almost everyone from the area communicating in Mandarin, and the home dialect remains an important part of the everyday lives and cultural identities of most Zhejiang residents.


Zhejiang is the home of Yueju (越劇), one of the most prominent forms of Chinese opera. Yueju originated in Shengzhou and is traditionally performed by actresses only, in both male and female roles. Other important opera traditions include Yongju (of Ningbo), Shaoju (of Shaoxing), Ouju (of Wenzhou), Wuju (of Jinhua), Taizhou Luantan (of Taizhou) and Zhuji Luantan (of Zhuji).


Longjing tea (also called dragon well tea), originating in Hangzhou, is one of the most prestigious, if not the most prestigious Chinese tea. Hangzhou is also renowned for its silk umbrellas and hand fans. Zhejiang cuisine (itself subdivided into many traditions, including Hangzhou cuisine) is one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine.

Place names

Since ancient times, north Zhejiang and neighbouring south Jiangsu have been famed for their prosperity and opulence, and simply inserting north Zhejiang place names (Hangzhou, Jiaxing, etc.) into poetry gave an effect of dreaminess, a practice followed by many noted poets. In particular, the fame of Hangzhou (as well as Suzhou in neighbouring Jiangsu province) has led to the popular saying: 上有天堂,下有苏杭 ("Above there is heaven; below there is Suzhou and Hangzhou"), a saying that continues to be a source of pride for the people of these two still prosperous cities.

TourismThe Hall of Five Hundred Arhats at Guoqing Temple

Tourist destinations in Zhejiang include:

  • Baoguo Temple, one of the oldest intact wooden structures in Southern China, 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) north of Ningbo.
  • Mount Putuo, one of the most noted Buddhist mountains in China. Chinese Buddhists associate it with Guan Yin.
  • Qita Temple, Ningbo.
  • Shaoxing, site of the Tomb of Yu the Great, Wuzhen and other waterway towns.
  • The ancient capital of Hangzhou.
  • Mount Tiantai, (天台山), a mountain important to Zen Buddhism.
  • West Lake, in Hangzhou.
  • Yandangshan, a mountainous scenic area near Wenzhou.
  • Qiandao Lake, lit. Thousand-island lake.
  • Guoqing Temple, founded in the Sui Dynasty, the founding location of Tiantai Buddhism
  • Mount Mogan, a scenic mountain an hour from Hangzhou with many pre-World War II villas built by foreigners, along with one of Chiang Kai-shek''s Kuomintang compounds

Professional sports teams based in Zhejiang include:

  • Chinese Football Association Jia League
    • Zhejiang Lücheng
  • Chinese Basketball Association
    • Zhejiang Wanma
    • Bayi Rockets (in Ningbo)
Education Colleges and universities

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